- 225ml milk, plus a little more for glazing
- 3 rooibos chai tea bags
- 10g quick yeast
- 50g caster sugar, plus 1 tsp and 1 tbsp
- 2 oranges
- 150g sultanas or raisins
- 450g strong white flour, plus 3 tbsp for the crosses
- 100g butter
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 3 eggs
1. Heat 200ml milk gently in a pan along with the chai tea bags till just boiling, and then turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 1 hour. Bring back up to blood temperature and then strain the milk into a bowl with the yeast and 1 tsp sugar.
2. Finely grate the zest of your oranges into a bowl. Juice the oranges into the same bowl, straining any pips. Soak the sultanas or raisins in the zesty juice
3. Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and grate over the butter. Rub in with your fingertips, or in a food mixer, until well mixed, and then add the rest of the sugar and the salt, ginger and mixed spice. Beat together 2 of the eggs.
4. Make a well in the middle of the flour. Add the beaten eggs and the yeast mixture. Stir in, adding enough milk to make a soft dough – it shouldn't look at all dry or tough. Knead for 10 minutes till smooth and elastic. Lightly oil or butter another bowl and put the dough into it. Cover and leave in a warm place until it has doubled in size – 3-4 hrs.
5. Tip the dough out on to a lightly greased work surface and knead for a minute or so, then flatten it out. Drain the orange juice from the dried fruit. Scatter the fruit over the dough. Knead again to spread the fruit around evenly, then divide into 16 equal pieces and roll these into bun shapes. Put on lined baking trays and score a cross into the top of each, then cover and put in a warm place to prove until doubled in size.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Beat together the last egg with a little milk. Mix the plain flour with a pinch of salt and enough cold water to make a stiff paste. Paint the top of each bun with egg wash, and then, using a piping bag or teaspoon, draw a thick cross on the top of each. Put into the oven and bake for about 25 minutes until golden.
7. Mix 1 tbsp caster sugar with 1 tbsp boiling water. When the buns come out of the oven, brush them with this before transferring to a rack to cool. Eat with lots of butter.